In this Newsletter, we present two organizations which make up the Greek team in the SocialB Project. The first team is located at the University of Patras, Greece and consists of Mrs Dimitra Papadimitriou, Associate Professor at the Department of Business Management of the University of Patras and Mr Catherine Sotiropoulou, Ph.D candidate in the same department. In our team, we have one more Ph.d candidate (Argyris Loukopoulos) who, together with Catherine, conduct empirical research in topics related to the organizational behavior of social enterprises (SEs). Therefore, we all share a strong interest in the growth and sustainability of the Greek social enterprises and how innovation can be accessible in the particular enterprises, located in the Region of Western Greece, and the rest of the country.
Over the last two weeks, our team worked in piloting the new educational material of the SocialB which relates to good governance and the management of human resources (voluntary and paid) in social entrepreneurs, students and vocational trainers in our region. Out of these sessions, we had the opportunity to work together with important social groups and gain invaluable experience and feedback on how to improve further the SocialB educational material. Furthermore, our informative discussions with our trainees showcased once again the significant gap in the Greek education which relates to specialized educational material for SEs, a fact which hinders the sustainability of these organizations, especially during the first years of establishing themselves in the market. In one of these piloting sessions, we also welcomed the Union leader of the Social Enterprises located in the Region of Western Greece who is a valuable supporter of the SocialB project. Mr Georgiou works towards disseminating policy measures and knowhow knowledge which supports the development of a facilitating culture for the innovation and growth of the social entrepreneurship in our region.
The second team is located in Pyrgos city in Western Greece. With roots in Elis and eyes on Europe, Olympic Training (OT), develops, transmits and promotes innovative ideas, good practices and know-how in the field of adult education, with the aim to establish conditions in support of sustainable growth. By means of joining forces with local industry, research institutes, local chambers, stakeholders and organizations from abroad Olympic Training is active since 2012 in the exploration of potential pathways that may support the development of the third sector and social entrepreneurship (through the coordination or participation in local development plans, the coordination of an ErasmusKA2 project that was distinct as good practice –the sesba Project and now SocialB) as we seek to unleash their creative potentials.
Instead of presenting the OT team we present here two companies that are active in the wider area of Peloponnese, participate in SocialB piloting and host the WBL activities.
Presentation of two exemplar Social Enterprises in Greece that benefit from the piloting activities
Liofyllo was born back in 2018 based on the idea of environmental protection and how the humanity can escape the linear model of consumption. For this to be achieved, Liofyllo creates an innovative, eco-friendly material (international patent) from untapped olive leaves and various adhesives, to reduce the production and use of non-environmentally friendly materials (synthetic, plastic, MDF, OSB, etc.), thus contributing to the reduction of pollution and ecological disaster (deforestation, mining, etc.). This innovative material, with different processing techniques, can be applied to a wide range of products (interior decoration, furnishing, etc.) thus covering the needs of more sectors of craft and industry. The olive leaf was chosen because in addition to its properties (medical benefits, health, wellness, nutrition, history, culture, Olympic ideals, but also with special mechanical properties in its composition, durability, etc.) it is probably the only Greek natural element that refers to the history and culture of Greece.
Liofyllo’s main pillars are green, social and female entrepreneurship. Through its actions, the enterprise wants to strengthen these sectors of entrepreneurship, inspire more people to engage in these areas and have as much social and environmental impact as possible, thus helping the local community and economy and in general the development in Greece.
PHAOS Social Cooperative Enterprise
“Deeds, initiatives and activities that support society and create a positive social impact” this is how Mrs Kouvelaki (co- founder of Phaos) defines social entrepreneurship, “…as Social Entrepreneurship reflects the new way of doing business and target the whole rather than the unit, solving traditional problems in a modern way. If sensitized entrepreneurs make good use of knowledge and experience they can bring about significant positive changes in society…”
Phaos is an ancient Greek word and it means Light… and Phaos SE wishes to bring social entrepreneurship in the spotlight of the bright city of Kalamata and inspire other people to become active in the Social Economy sector.
The vision of “Phaos Social Enterprise” team is summarized in the triptych:
Connect – Create – Collaborate
and lays the foundations for a creative community focusing on the region of Messinia!
The associates of “Phaos” S.E, offer business consulting services, networking and organization or co-organization of big events with a focus on the promotion and strengthening of the local economy.
All its actions are characterized by Corporate Social Responsibility and extroversion; by the aim to offer to the local community, through sustainable development and social innovation.
The first big project, that was established by “Phaos” is “House by Phaos” which is hosted in the city of Kalamata – Messinia -Peloponnese. A special, different, bright place… The “House by Phaos” is the House of entrepreneurship and culture, that hosts actions and creative professionals in their first step, aspires to become the connecting link of the local ecosystem of innovation, new and social entrepreneurship of Kalamata and Messinia as a whole for networking, support and cooperation.
“Phaos” S.E., is an associated member of the National Center for Social Innovation and the Digital Nomad Observatory. Τhe last project of “Phaos” S.E. is the portal “Work from Kalamata”, through which all the comparative advantages and the uniqueness of the place at all levels are displayed, for Digital Nomads.